According to 51 percent of adults in a YouGov poll conducted by the Betting and Gaming Council, politicians do not impose unreasonable restrictions on the amount that punters will bet.
According to a poll of 1,683 British adults, the above percentage are opposed to political restrictions, although only 27 percent favour them.
Working on affordability
This comes as the Gambling Commission begins to work on affordability, with demands for a monthly cap on the sums that punters will lose. The problem is also likely to be taken into account as part of the government’s continuing analysis of gambling.
According to the YouGov survey, 59 percent of UK adults believe that “if there are too many limits placed on people to bet” they would turn to the unlicensed and illicit black market, compared to 10 percent who disagree.
This follows a PwC analysis of unlicensed online gaming in the UK, which found a 4.5 percent increase in unlicensed operator use from 2.2 percent in 2019, implying that the number of consumers accessing an unlicensed betting platform has increased from 210,000 to 460,000.
A spike in unlicensed operator spending from 1.2 percent to 2.3 percent was also reported, bringing totals from £1.4 billion to £2.8 billion.
Strongly encouraged to set own limits
The BGC’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, explained: “My view is that limits are good, which is why people betting are now strongly encouraged to set their own limits on how much they spend.
“Affordability checks are also a good thing. But technology enables betting companies to see where customers are starting to display what we call ‘markers of harm’.
“In this way, potential problem gamblers and others who may be more at risk could be subject to enhanced affordability checks.
“Such a move would potentially also have serious ramifications for horseracing in particular, which relies heavily on the money it receives from the betting levy.”
Commissioned focus groups
The BGC has commissioned a number of focus groups, mostly in the Midlands and north of England, to get people’s opinions on betting and other cultural topics.
Around November and February, 20 events took place in Long Eaton, Mansfield, Dudley, Walsall, Warrington, Oldham, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Stoke, London, Richmond-on-Thames, Birmingham, Durham, Wakefield, Blackpool, and St Helens.
It was said to be discovered that betting is already a popular social and recreational activity for millions of Britons, raising questions over the imposition of more regulation over how people live their lives.
Dugher added: “I hope politicians will also take heed of the findings and listen to voters in Northern and Midlands marginal seats – who will be key to the result of the next election – who are wary of being told by Westminster how to live their lives, especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
“The BGC fully supports the gambling review and we want to see big changes, but it’s important that ministers get those changes right.”